Dozens of Teenagers Have Been Moved Off Rikers Island as New State Law Takes Effect

Raise the Age is the result of a longstanding debate over the treatment of young teenagers who commit crimes. While the law is not retroactive, it requires 16 and 17 year olds be moved from Rikers Island, the city’s notorious jail system where correction officers were found to be abusing the civil rights of the youngest inmates by using both physical force and solitary confinement excessively.

In a press release today, New York Governor Cuomo hailed the law, saying that “by raising the age of criminal responsibility, New York is putting an end to an injustice that falls disproportionately on people of color and once again proving that we are the progressive beacon for the nation. In New York, we will never stop fighting for a more equal and more just society for all.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it “an historic moment for criminal justice reform.”

For more information about our juvenile justice system, listen to WNYC’s series Kids in Prison

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